NO TIMELINE & NO INVOICES
On September 11, 2017, Rea Belessis retained Kovacs Security Systems, Inc., and agreed to pay over $12,000 for the company to “install, lease, service, and monitor commercial fire alarm equipment.”
About two months later, on November 1, 2017, Belessis sent a letter informing the company that she was terminating the contract because the company failed to deliver the system within the agreed-upon time-frame.
After Belessis filed a small claims case to recover her $4000 deposit, and Kovacs filed a contract breach case (which asserted a cause of action predicated upon “account stated”), the parties’ disputes were consolidated, and motion practice ensued. And when the Nassau County District Court declined to award relief in Belessis’s favor, an appeal to the Appellate Term, Second Department, followed.
Since she couldn’t show that Kovacs was in breach of the agreement -- as it lacked “a time schedule, a completion date, or any indication that time was of the essence for the installation of the fire alarm system” -- the AT2 thought Belessis wasn’t entitled to the pre-trial return of her deposit.
But because it couldn’t affirmatively demonstrate that it had sent bills or invoices to Belessis, the company’s “account stated" cause of action was dismissed. (The AT2 noted that Kovacs was unable to show that a bill or invoice had been received and held by the customer “’for a significant amount of time without objection.’”)
Think that decision sounded an alarm?
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